Smile :)

The current pandemic is adding a layer of stress to everyone’s life, and that layer will only get thicker as the pandemic lingers.

For ethics & compliance professionals, this means that we are likely to deal with more agressive employee misconduct at work. It also means that we will approach these situations with diminished capacities, being ourselves the victim of additional stress in our lives.

So now might be a good time to remember that smiling reduces the stress of the person smiling and of the person receiving the smile (by activating the reward center of the brain). Eighty percent of the people we smile at smile back, strangers included. By simply smiling, we can sprinkle moments of calm and peace throughout the day.

That’s something we could all use today.


HT to Melanie Katzman for her book Connect First, 52 Simple Ways to Ignite Success, Meaning, and Joy at Work. I plan to share more of her tips in future posts.

What I miss

I have been working from home since March 16.

I don’t miss the commute. I enjoy not having to shave on occasion. I’m saving money on gasoline and dry cleaners.

I do miss colleagues stopping by my office to discuss a project or just to say hello. Each occasion produce a small dopamine rush. Small, but still greater than the one I get with a Zoom invitation via email.

The longer this lasts, the more it will affect us. In many societies, we were taught to greet each other with handshakes, kisses, or embraces; to offer coffee, tea, and biscuits; to offer a seat or a cushion; and, more subtilely, to smile and speak warmly. All of these practices are diminished or lost when meeting online.

And we miss it.

The impact is real and it will get worse with each passing month. Let us be aware of it, acknowledge it, and vow to treat each other as well as possible.